DAZN DATA PLATFORM CASE STUDY
DAZN is a London-based sports media company and unicorn startup valued at over £3bn. It is an over-the-top subscription sports streaming service which shows live and on-demand streaming of sporting events.
Founded in 2016, DAZN first launched in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Japan in August 2016 before expanding to Canada in 2017, the US and Italy 2018 and then Spain and Brazil in early 2019 – with a further 200 countries to follow in 2020-2021.
In October 2019, DAZN had the highest-grossing sports-related mobile app in terms of worldwide revenue on application storefronts.
DAZN’s Data Warehouse was initially built to monitor product health metrics and later grew into a finance reporting tool.
With more and more data sources incrementally added over the years, it became a complex monolith with the business often querying its accuracy and reliability.
Global expansion meant more pressure was being put on the platform.
The team responsible for its upkeep was small and overwhelmed with maintenance tasks, updates, and new data ingestion requests – meaning they were stuck with the status quo.
Work was mostly completed in the production environment, meaning bugs weren’t caught in time and had a severe impact on the reporting and robustness of the data.
Morale in the team was low, and DAZN looked to 101 Ways to help improve ways of working – not just within the team, but with stakeholders, and to set the path to a new, modern data platform which would serve DAZN’s future needs.
DAZN also needed help to ensure that the future platform could be supported internally once 101 Ways had completed the engagement.
101 Ways provided an experienced consultant to act as interim Data Director to support the planning and architecture of a new, modern data warehousing platform which would take advantage of the available and scalable AWS capabilities.
101 Ways also provided a cross-functional team consisting of engineers, a Scrum Master, and a Business Analyst to work with existing staff to improve ways of working, technical approaches, and delivery.
101 Ways designed the new platform to be scalable, using a serverless microservice architecture primarily using AWS-based technologies such as Athena, Glue, EMR, Redshift, Data Pipeline as well as Spark and Kafka.
For the new data platform, 101 Ways’ interim Data Director worked with senior stakeholders to understand the changing needs of the business, what questions they need answering from the data, the various data sources, and the need to scale.
101 Ways led the recruitment of the permanent team who would go on and complete the development of the new architecture.
Our approach to supporting the current team and improve how the team worked with the broader business, we did the following:
- Redefine the basics through the definition of done workshops, the introduction of physical boards, sprint goals, useful retros and agreed on a prioritisation framework
- Took a pragmatic approach to agile through discovering what would (and wouldn’t) work for the team, the use of “no estimate” techniques to break down tasks, and the introduction of bug tracking and XP practices
- Used the concept of Kaizen so striving for continuous improvement through small, incremental changes